If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

Oral Surgeon in Arlington, VA | Arlington, VA Dental Implants | Washington DC Dental Implants | Arlington, VA Dental Sedation | Arlington, VA Wisdom Teeth

  1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201

Phone : (703) 566-1990
Fax : (703) 888-2891
Newsletter

The Progression of Gum Disease


Progression of Gum Disease

One of the biggest advancements in dentistry in recent years is our improved understanding of gum disease. Gum recession was once considered to be a normal part of the aging process. But dentists now regard it as treatable and have identified a number of diseases with which it shares high rates of comorbidity. While exciting investigations into causative relationships between gum disease treatments and other diseases are ongoing, it is important for patients to be up-to-date on what is already known about prevention.

Low-Level Gum Inflammation

Gingivitis is the early form of gum disease. It is so common that when many people notice symptoms, such as seeing blood when they spit their toothpaste, they do not realize there is anything wrong. Inflamed gums will look swollen and discolored, but gingivitis is usually not evident until it has already progressed relatively far. It may also cause bad breath.

There are many things that could cause gingivitis, including injuries, autoimmune disorders, and hormonal fluctuations associated with puberty and pregnancy. But what most often causes gingivitis to progress is plaque. This build-up on the teeth’s bio-film is caused by bacteria consuming food and producing acid. As plaque hardens into tartar or calculus, the gums become irritated and the acid erodes enamel. This process is also responsible for tooth decay.

Consequences of Advanced Gum Disease        

Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease. It is not inevitable—particularly not when gingivitis is caused by plaque. But the damage it causes can be permanent. When gums are inflamed for a long time, their tissue breaks down, causing them to recede. The exposed tooth roots are more sensitive than crowns, making it painful for the patient to eat or drink cold substances. If enough gum tissue is lost, and if the inflammation gets bad enough to break down bone tissue, the teeth may also come loose. When an implant is coming loose as a result of gum and bone break-down, we call it peri-implantitis.

Prevention

People who neglect their oral hygiene are at high risk for developing gum disease, but only a dental professional can remove calculus that has already formed. Smoking puts people at a significantly higher risk for periodontal disease (as well as oral cancer), which is part of the reason why it is more common in older people. However, quitting smoking reduces the risk, as does reducing stress and sugar intake. People with diabetes are also at increased risk for gum disease and should think of their dentist as an integral part of their care team.

 
 
Arlington Oral Surgeon | Newsletter. Ali Pashapour is a Arlington Oral Surgeon.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is intended to be purely educational in nature and does not create a physician-patient relationship with Pashapour Oral+Facial Surgery or any agent, servant or employee thereof. By no means should the information contained in this website be considered as a substitute for consultation with a qualified physician and it does not constitute a second opinion. This website and its contents do not represent or claim to provide the information needed for a patient to give his or her informed consent to any dental or surgical procedure or are a reflection of individual patient results, as they may vary patient to patient. Individual results will vary and no guaranteed result is stated or implied by any photo use or any statement, testimonial, or video on this website. The results depicted in “before” and “after” pictures and stated by any “patient testimonial” illustrate results you may or may not achieve if you choose to have a cosmetic surgery procedure. Individual results may vary by patient. Please see our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Oral Surgeon
1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201